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    Samsung’s selfie gesture feature has a timer problem


    Last updated: March 11th, 2022 at 11:35 UTC+01:00

    Gestures that allow you to do stuff on your phone without touching it have been a big part of the software experience on Galaxy phones for the longest time. From being able to mute incoming calls by just putting your hand over the screen to taking selfies by showing an open hand to the camera, you can do a lot using gestures on Samsung devices.

    Showing your palm to the camera to initiate selfies is perhaps my favorite gesture on Galaxy smartphones, because we all know how awkward it can be to hold our phones out on an outstretched hand and try to tap that shutter button. That’s where the ‘show palm’ gesture comes in.

    You just show your palm to the camera and the phone initiates a timer and clicks a picture, and everyone’s happy, right? Well, not quite: While I do love that this particular gesture exists, I have a complaint: The timer the camera app initiates after detecting a palm isn’t long enough.

    When you use the show palm gesture, you basically have all of 1.5 seconds or so to remove your hand out of the frame before the selfie is clicked. That window is just too short and you effectively have to move your hand at superspeed to get it out of the frame, and that often means the hand holding the phone moves a little as well, introducing blur or shake into the equation.

    This is a particularly big problem in nighttime selfies, when the selfie camera is trying to shoot at a lower shutter speed and is already making it a task keeping the phone steady. An option to select how long of a timer the gesture initiates would easily solve this problem, but clearly no one at Samsung has ever thought of it as a problem.

    And no, in case you’re wondering, using the standard timer option in the camera app is not a solution. Yes, you can just set that to 2 seconds or 5 seconds so you have enough time to get that palm out of the way, but remember, that standard timer is a persistent setting and will need to be manually disabled every time you don't want to use a timer for your selfies.

    So, yeah, either the show palm gesture’s timer needs to be extended ever so slightly, or there needs to be an option to select the timer duration for the gesture, separate from the camera’s regular timer. Please make it happen, Samsung.

    What about you? Has it ever crossed your mind that the show palm gesture’s timer is a little too short when taking selfies on your Galaxy smartphone? Let me know down in the comments!